I am an experienced Social Media practitioner with a strong passion for connecting with customers of brands. As part of a team, I presently work on the social media account of a leading European auto company. On this job, I have brought my vast experiences in journalism, marketing, search engine optimisation and branding to play.
by Morak Babajide-Alabi
I love birthdays. Who doesn’t? We love counting our days, weeks, months and years. And we have parameters for counting. Milestones -10, 18, 25, 40, 50, 60, etc.
We started counting in single digits of 1,2,3. At this stage, we marched with pride, shining shoes and modern clothes. We hauled bags of sweets to share with friends. At weekends, we invited them over for parties as we happily cut birthday cakes. It was a carefree world.
We moved to double digits -10, 11, 12. At this point, life was a reality a bit far off. It could be confusing. Sometimes we looked eagerly to becoming “old.” We pondered why we were constantly forced to the background as if we didn’t matter in the scheme of things. We spent most of our time hovering in and out of focus.
With bold eyes, we moved to the teen years. We had experienced the first few of the two digits years impatiently waiting to move on. We gathered stories of how “sweet” teenage years were. Those before us displayed “much” freedom their ages gave them. We learnt these years would determine our future. We thought these were the carefree years where we could rebel against all authorities. It was on top of that a time of discovery when we felt we had everything covered. We relied more on our friends than the prudent guidance of elders. We assumed it was tolerable to attempt everything just to belong in. Who cared about tomorrow when we had today?
At 20, we counted decades. The struggles transiting from teen years to the twenties were real. The society placed more responsibilities on the tender shoulders and we wished we could step back into the teenage years (even if for a while). “Did he pass the Matriculation Board Exam?” “Where is he heading to?” We barely knew where the roads were, talk less of which one to tread.
The mid-20s. Trying to work this life out, but society was asking all sorts of questions and required answers so fast. “His mates have graduated. Does he grasp what he is doing?” “Some of his mates have got married and settled, he is walking the streets up and down with no focus.” The pressures mounted.
At 30s. “When are you getting married?” At that point, you wonder when the society will get off your back. Rather than encourage, they impose the pressure more on you. “You know Joe, your primary school mate works in the Central Bank.” “He has three kids already, and you are here jumping from one club to another.” “He is your mate.”
At the 40s. These were fantastic years. They were years of discovery, of individuality and purpose. They moved so fast, and you wished they could slow down a bit. The society was still there, trying to tell you what to do. When you say no, it tried to remind you of your past. It poked you with various sticks. You have developed thick skin at this point. The society came as no good friends and the mission was to hurt you. They smiled to you but smiled at you behind your back.
At 50 – the age of wisdom, true happiness and self-content. I was stating it as it was, no matter whose ox was gored. I kept the society at arm’s length. I shut the doors against fake friends. I looked inward and communed more with the Father. The society, nevertheless, tried to dictate, but I could barely hear the noise.
Mid 50. You look back with a smile. It is MY LIFE, not society’s. It is by my standard and not the society. It’s all about my joy and happiness. At this level, who bothers what the society expects?
Thank you, Lord, for the journey so far.
I wrote the piece below five years ago, April 7, 2015, and I hope you enjoy it. It is about reaching a milestone year.
As there were a few Premier League matches on TV yesterday, Sunday, I made myself a cup of coffee, few snacks by the side and sat comfortably in the sofa. I adjusted myself and made sure everything required was just a “bend” away. I mean practically everything needed was just within my comfort.
Time for action. I have my favourites among the Premier League teams, but you will never catch me discussing this in public. So yesterday, my main team was on the field, about to tackle it out with the closest rival. “Bring it on,” I muttered under my breath.
The TV was on a news channel. I felt once I settle into the sofa I would change it to the Sports Channel. And here was the challenge. I “bent” over to reach for the Cable Box Remote Control among the carefully arranged “necessities.” But alas, the “thing” was not there. I looked around the sofa. I could not locate it. I searched frantically as I looked up at the clock for the kick-off time.
Now, I was freaking out. In the process, I knocked my cup of coffee over. So as not to soak the carpet I ran into the kitchen to grab the napkin and wiped it off. I looked around the living room once again if I could get the remote control to settle down to the football match. But what started as a “small thing” of reaching out to take, has now cost me almost 10 minutes of the Premier League match. I was stuck on the News Channel.
I called out to my sons. They usually bail me out of situations like this. There was no response. And the realisation dawned on me, rather too late, that I remain the sole person at home at this time. Therefore I resumed my search for the remote control. After a while, I reasoned I could try to manually tune the box to the channel I desired. So I crawled on the carpet towards the stand, only to realise there is no provision for manual tuning on the box.
Dejectedly, I went back on the sofa. Moved around the controls for the TV and the surround system. They were of no use. The “main” one is missing. I remembered, vividly, switching on the electricals and changing the channels to the news. Where is this remote control? I gave up. I stretched out on the sofa. “Am I getting old? Or how do we explain this?” An inner voice said to me: “You appreciate you have entered the golden age now. You are not as young as you used to be.” It does not matter. I still have everything intact, I said to myself.
I “strayed” back into the present, heaved myself out of the sofa and headed towards the kitchen to brew another hot cup of coffee. If I could not watch the match, I should be able to “enjoy” myself. I reached for the kettle, and right next to it was the remote control. I sighed. I felt like kicking myself. In annoyance, I dragged myself back to the living room. Flipped the channel to sports and at this time the third goal of the match was being celebrated. It was scored at the 75th minute.
Happy Birthday to me.